Michael Buckhoff’s “7 Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT
Upon beginning a TOEFL iBT writing task, it is important to read the question very carefully. You should determine what the writing task is. To illustrate the importance of this, consider the following situation:
Your mother/spouse tells you to remove a food stain from the carpet. She instructs you to use a special chemical called “Stain Be Gone.” You go into the laundry room and instead of getting “Stain Be Gone”, you get a chemical called “Chlorox,” a type of bleach. You begin to clean the carpet with the chemical and what happens? The brown carpet begins to turn an awful shade of yellow! Even though you had good intentions and you worked very hard to clean the carpet, you did not get the results you or your mother/spouse expected because you used the wrong chemical; consequently, you bleached out the carpet.
The same applies to TOEFL iBT writing . If you do not follow the instructions the prompt gives you, no matter how hard you work the end result will not be what the reader expected. As a result, you will not receive the score you deserve. Consider the following three writing prompts:
1. Some people say that it is best to be loyal and to work for one company during one’s life. Others take the opposite view and say it is better to change jobs frequently in one’s life. Discuss these positions, using specific examples of both. Then tell which one you agree with and explain why.
2. In addition to their specialized classes in their major, students should also be required to take general education classes in a university. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Give reasons to support your opinion.
3. The automobile and the airplane are important inventions of the 20th century. Both of these inventions have had an important effect on our lives. Choose another invention that you think is important. Give specific reasons for your choice.
Do these three prompts look the same to you? Do they have the same requirements? If you answered no, you are already on your way to being able to write a successful essay.
The first prompt can be broken into three tasks: The essay asks you to discuss both positions, which means (1) you must write about why some people say that it is best to be loyal to work for one company during one’s life; (2) you must write about why others say it is better to change jobs frequently in one’s life; (3) you must tell which of the positions you agree with; and you should explain why (i.e., give reasons). Remaining neutral until near the end, you do not state your position first in this type of essay.
The second prompt can be broken into two argumentative tasks– (1) that of choosing whether you agree or disagree with the statement: “In addition to their specialized classes in their major, students should also be required to take general education classes in a university.”
(2) You should also give reasons to support your opinion. Stating your argument in the introduction in this type of essay, you assert which view you support. Then in the remainder of the essay, you defend why you support that view.
In the third writing prompt, yet another type of argumentative essay, the task is simple– (1)that of choosing another invention that you think is important. (2) You should give specific reasons for your choice. The word “another” means other than the automobile or the airplane. Consequently, if you write about the airplane or the automobile, you have not followed the instructions for this writing prompt.
The concept is simple: think before you write. Make sure you understand what the writing task is.
For information, go here:
Michael Buckhoff’s “7 Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT
39 thoughts on “Before beginning a TOEFL iBT Writing Task, You’d Better Read This!”
It all depends on what the writing task is asking you to do which will determine whether you will need an argumentative or objective tone.
All TOEFL integrated writing tasks should be neutral since you are trying to show how the information in the listening passage relates to the information in the reading passage. You will not be asked to agree or disagree with the information.
In contrast, most TOEFL independent writing tasks ask you to agree or disagree, so you will need an argumentative tone. In some cases, for example, in the writing task “Compare the contributions of scientists to society with the contributions of artists. Which group is valued more by society? Use specific reasons and examples to support your point of view.”, you will first objectively compare the contributions of both groups without taking an argument, and then you will argue why one group is valued more by society and why.
The main point is you need to decode the writing task, and then choose the most appropriate tone and organization that suits that writing task.
For TOEFL iBT Writing Practice to help you achieve your goals, go here: http://onlinetoeflcourse.com/writing-section
Happy New Year 2015!
Can v remain neutral in any of dese tasks? Lyk.. or is it specific dat v must either agree or disagree for sure.. plz reply!
Hi mic, sorry for not finding this page . now I finished the 6th test , so that at allthese 3 days , I finished 4,5 and 6 , independent test : 30 min
Can you evaluate? Thanks
Finally I found this page that I’m looking for . Sorry for interibtions . I finished my test 4,5 and 6 at these three days . One test , at every day at independent tests : 30 minutes .I’ m very thankful for your patience. Please , can you evaluate . Thanks
You may want to consider joining my Online TOEFL course, so you can get a lot more than just tips. Heck, I have over 170 hours of instruction to help you reach your TOEFL goals. And I will score all the pronunciation, speaking, and writing practice tests that you submit. I will be honored to have you as a student. To find out more about my course, go here: http://toeflonlinecourse.michaelbuckhoff.com/
Thanks for yr tips.
I will use them for my benefit.
However, can’t such tips on how best to do TOEFL Test be mailed to my E-mail?
I would be more appriciative
Hi, it is great to learn how to improve our skills in toefl test. i was really bad in listening toefl , after listening to your audios i became good .
Hi, it is great to learn how to improve our skills i toefl test. i was really bad in listening toefl , after listening to your audios i became good .
Very helpful site. Nice piece of info, finally a decent website with good information in it.
its realy useful
For the TOEFL iBT Speaking part professional scoring and feedback is provided by http://i-courses.org. Take a free TOEFL Sample Test or Full TOEFL iBT Tests.
Hi Michael, Can you please give me some startegies in Reading and Listening sections? Do I need to right more during Listening or not. What strategies do I need to focus on during Reading?
What are the strategies in answering the reading section questions specially the last question of summarizing.
This video is an answer to Smiley’s question, “Should I mention my choice and reasons accompanying with it in the conclusion paragraph or write them in a new paragraph above the conclusion paragraph?”
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Hello Michael! Thank you so much for these tips. I found it very useful and necessary, but I have a question in the first prompt: Should I mention my choice and reasons accompanying with it in the conclusion paragraph or write them in a new paragraph above the conclusion paragraph?
Please respond soon for me! Thank you so much for your help.
thank you very much for giving me such useful tips…..it helps me a lot….
Part of the purpose of my TOEFL blog is to explain in specific, basic terms how to best prepare for the test and, of course, how to get high score. I try to make difficult things easy to understand.
Good luck to you!
For reading, read this blog post: http://www.bettertoeflscores.com/toefl-ibt-reading-using-the-novel-the-red-badge-of-courage-by-stephen-crane-to-build-reading-and-vocabulary-fluency/1995/
For listening, watch this video: http://www.bettertoeflscores.com/three-tips-for-better-listening-on-the-toefl-ibt/279/
Best of luck,
Three things will help you to score high on TOEFL iBT writing: being coherent, using adequate supporting details, and having advanced vocabulary and grammar usage.
Good luck to you,
Having a positive attitude reduces the stress you feel as you take the TOEFL, which increases your score!
It is good to hear that you have found my information useful to help you prepare for the TOEFL test.
All the best,
It depends on what you mean by the term “decent” TOEFL iBT score. To really answer your question, I recommend that you take a practice TOEFL iBT test. Let me know what your practice score is and what score you would like to get, and I will let you know how far you have to go. I do know that many Indian TOEFLers regularly score above 100 points.
what can I do to increase my score in reading and listening, I tested several times and got very low scores, Pls response tp me
thanks a lot micheal. u r doing a great job for us who r living in a small town and dont have anyone to guide.
THANKS AGAIN. TKCR
Hello Micheal! I’m an Indian, so far english is my medium of education. How much days it will take to get a decent TOEFL score? Scoring high in TOEFL iBT depends on preparation or interest and knowledge/command over English??
Thank you Micheal for sending me important ideas for the toefl. I am going to take the exam in july 27. I don’t feel that I am ready enough but I will try it. “be positive” is one of our lesson right? Thank you again!!
That’s really great tip for writing skill.I am usually confused about writing.It’s seem like one of the hardest part of TOEFL iBT exam.But i will follow this i suppose.I want to say thanks to you again,Michael.I can’t wait for next email.I really appreciate that 🙂
what can I do to increase my score in reading and listening, I tested several times and got very low scores
Already i took TOEFL exam but i got very limited marks in independent essay. Again I am interested to write TOEFL so i feel great u gave a valuable suggestions to answer exam. Thank you.
I am glad you found the information useful.
And may you take this information to score high on the TOEFL iBT!
Good luck to you!
You are welcome.
In spite of the concept that some phenomenon are complicated and some are simple, it seems that all parts of the world and all parts of life is inherently complex, like the questions and their descriptions you mentioned! But sometimes complexity is tend to simplicity with expert’s description like your lessons.
Very sound advice! Thanks for the guide
thanks for the tips these are very helpful.
thanks for sending me very helpful tips… i m very grateful…
That was great,it has really given me an insight about the exams.Am very grateful.
It was very helpfull.